Hi Guys,

I record interviews for radio. I just bought a MixPre-D, a Sony PCM M10, and a BeyerDynamic M58.

I'm finding that I can't get good recorded levels going from [MixPre-D "Tape Out"] into [Sony M10 "Line-in"]. The levels are OK on the mixer, but even with the input level maxed on the Sony it still seems low...

It means that the files have to be boosted in post, which I don't like to do (possibly boosting bad stuff). I'd like to have it record to proper levels on the Sony...

Anyone have any experience with this combo -- trying to find the source of the problem... Would the MixPre-D XLR line-out be hotter than tape-out?

Thanks in advance...

  • Just do a quick check and make sure that the 20dB pad switch is not engaged. I had an issue on my D50 and this was the problem, the switch got knocked on somehow. Just a thought!
    – Si Charles
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 15:15

5 Answers 5


from the manual: "Tape Out level is fixed at a -10 dBu nominal level and is electrically isolated from the XLR Outputs." So 0 on the Mixpre-D will be quiet on the PCM-m10. Up your limiter's threshold and you can ride your mixer hot, beyond 0 if you want.

Apart from that when recording line-in 96khz (noisiest sample rate with the m10) you will want to check where the self-noise of the recorder is, but there should still be plenty of dynamic range left to use.

edit: oh hang on. The tape out is -10dBu, but the XLR outputs are +4dBu. That's 14dB of "gain" right there. Of course you should test to see how the M10 would handle a signal that hot..

Also a dynamic mic like this one you should be able to plug it straight into the M10 (just make yourself a cable adapter).

  • "96khz (noisiest sample rate with the m10" I've never heard of different sample rates being noisier then others. Is that from your experience with the m10, or a general rule?
    – reon
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 17:08
  • yes at 96khz the preamps pick up high frequency noise from the power supply chain.
    – georgi
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 21:19
  • That is interesting. Is this ONLY using the Mains supply or on batteries as well? I've noticed nothing on batteries... Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 6:44
  • batteries. => taperssection.com/index.php?topic=139765
    – georgi
    Commented Aug 17, 2013 at 9:21

I use the mixpre-d and m-10 combo and haven't had a problem with low levels. What you may not have done is to calibrate your levels. Engage the 1kHz tone on the Mixpre-D and aline that to your fancy on the M-10. As a force of habit as a location sound recordist, I usually have the meter hit -12dB on the M-10. That way I try to have most of my sounds on the Mixpre-D hit 0 on the meter, and I know I'll be hot enough and still have a -12dB buffer till distortion. I've used my combo on broadcast work and haven't had a problem with low levels so like all those who have mentioned before, you may have engaged a pad unwittingly.

Also if you're used to using Sound Devices, the Tape Out on the Mixpre-D is different from the rest. It's a mini-jack aka 1/8th TRS as opposed to the mini-TA3 on the 302, 442, etc... The mini-TA3 in the Mixpre-D is an unbalanced mic out for DSLRs. So it soft, -36dBu soft!

  • pardon me for answering a 2 year old question... :(
    – user6513
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 14:58

I don't think normalising is "boosting" bad stuff.

I'm quite confused as to why people want to record hot when they have 24bit depth, particularly when they need to turn up their preamps perhaps higher then they can handle.

If the problem you're having is not being able to monitor what you're recording live, don't forget to turn up the headphones via the little toggle on the back.

Also just as basic troubleshooting, try plugging the mic directly into the pcm. (I'm not sure why you need the mixer?) Just make sure you use the mic input and not the line input.

But yeah, basically I disagree with your reluctance to "boost", and even use of the word "boost" entirely.

EDIT: also, I don't why you're using an external mic at all. I figured it was so it'd be more directional, (i.e. just record what it's pointing at, instead of recording background noise) but the google tells me the m58 is omnidirectional, so maybe you should just use the onboard mics?

I used the pcm to record an interview recently, and was quite happy.

EDIT^2: If I turn up the pmc mics fully up in a quite room with the headphones turn up, the device will feedback. (though my headphones) so yeah. Give it a go.


I had the same thing very low line in level - make sure you change the PCMM10 to High Sensitivity it's probably set to Low on the back of the unit and turn off the PCMM10 limiter if it is engaged, I did this and when I toggle the headphone monitor return on the mix pre-d between what the pcmm10 is recording and what the mixpre is capturing it sounds about the same , pcmm10 volume set to 8. Some people have said how great the pcmm10 and the mix pre-d gel together but I find the H4n with it's lack of true line level in works better that the above pita.


8 is way too hot for the m10 and high sensitivity should never be used. No xlr inputs on the mixpre-d, tape out is fine and yeah it's a little lower when toggling the mixpre-d return but it's not a bad combo, use the mixpre preamps as much as you. An rather rehab the m10 although it's the quietest recorder on the planet it sounds better on around 4-5 rec level max. All that said too not have a recorder built into a mixer in 2014 is a pain in the butt. Bypass these options and start with a 702 it's just as much a mixer as this is and it records

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